KeyBank Foundation provides $150,000 grant to expand resident owned manufactured home communities in PA, UT and OH
Submitted by KeyBank
November 2, 2023 /CSRwire/ – KeyBank and ROC USA jointly announce that KeyBank Foundation, the bank’s charitable foundation, is providing a three-year, $150,000 grant to ROC USA, LLC, a nonprofit social venture with a mission to support homeowners in Manufactured (“Mobile”) Home Communities (MHCs) to achieve affordable and environmentally sustainable self-governing cooperatives. The grant is targeted to help the expansion of affordable resident-owned MHCs in KeyBank’s markets in Eastern Pennsylvania, Utah, and Ohio.
ROC USA combines industry outreach, community organizing, organizational development, community financing and technical assistance to make MHC resident ownership successful. When an MHC becomes available for sale, ROC USA works with the resident homeowners, the majority of whom are low-income individuals and families, to form a co-op to acquire the community from the landowner for the homeowners. Homeowners each buy one low-cost share to become members of the co-op, with one vote per household on matters of the community. They elect a Board of Directors to act on day-to-day issues and vote on larger matters like the annual budget, bylaws and community rules. Such an arrangement eliminates a third-party landlord and puts the control of community services and upkeep into the hands the co-op, resulting in more secure and affordable living arrangements for the homeowners.
"The limited equity cooperative ownership model has been proven successful for nearly four decades,” said Paul Bradley, President of ROC USA. “The support of Key Bank Foundation will help bring that success to more markets where the need for resident ownership is particularly acute. Scaling our work means scaling security and affordability and removing more and more homes from the speculative real estate market.”
Helping homeowners form co-ops and purchase their MHCs was pioneered by the NH Community Loan Fund beginning in 1984. After 24 years and demonstrating impact and scalability in New Hampshire, ROC USA – in partnership with the NH Community Loan Fund, Prosperity Now, Capital Impact Partners, NeighborWorks America and a network of nonprofit Technical Assistance providers – was launched in 2008 to scale shared equity MHC co-ops nationally.
ROC USA’s development services include pre- and post-purchase technical assistance and training as well as community financing. Financing is available from ROC USA’s CDFI subsidiary – ROC USA® Capital – and oftentimes from local lenders, as well. In 40 years, ROC USA and its affiliates have helped 312 communities form co-ops and acquire their communities in 21 states. These communities are home to more than 21,500 primarily low-income homeowners.
“Finding solutions to address affordable housing is one of the cornerstones of KeyBank’s community investment strategy, and ROC USA has developed a proven, innovative model for achieving affordable, well-managed housing for low-income residents in manufactured home communities,” said KeyBank’s Eastern Pennsylvania Market President Jamie Tranfalia. “We are proud to provide resources to help them expand their services to more MHCs in Eastern Pennsylvania and throughout other KeyBank markets.”
Lehigh Valley’s Evergreen Village Cooperative in Mount Bethel, PA was the first MHC in Eastern PA to work with ROC USA. The $12 million resident purchase, completed in October 2022, transferred the 158-home, 55-and-over community built in the 1980s to a cooperative owned by the homeowners who live there. Resident Rich Cowell was involved in the purchase process through ROC USA and said “I really thought two things stood out about this deal. One is that we will have security. We don’t have to worry about potential sale to another owner or corporation. Once we do this, it’s ours. The other thing we get out of this is control. We can control expenses and keep the rent under control.”
In Utah, Applewood Homeowners Cooperative in Midvale became a ROC in 2018 with help from ROC USA. The $5 million resident purchase transferred the 56-home, 55-and-over community in Salt Lake County to a cooperative owned by the homeowners who live there. Shirlene Stoven, a member of the Board of Directors during the purchase process, said she was glad for the security of resident ownership given that her neighborhood had been slated for closure and redevelopment. “The most emotion I felt through all of this was relief.”
Unlike Pennsylvania and Utah, where ROC USA already has ROC co-ops and seeks to expand more, they do not yet have any co-ops in the state of Ohio and intend to use some of funding to establish its first resident-owned community in that market. "This strategic funding not only opens doors in Ohio, but also signifies a resounding vote of confidence in ROC USA’s vision,” Bradley said. “In Ohio, we’ll build on the successes we've achieved in 21 other states. ROC USA’s proven model, rooted in the principles of democracy, economic stability, and community resilience, is tailor-made to flourish in the Buckeye State.”
With KeyBank Foundation’s support, ROC USA will assist low-income homeowners form co-ops and acquire at least two communities in the target markets during the grant period. Funds will be used to support ROC USA’s acquisitions team in providing community outreach, organizing, and technical assistance services.
About ROC USA
ROC USA (rocusa.org) is a non-profit social venture with a national network of affiliates and a national financing source for resident corporations. ROC USA is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, NeighborWorks® America, Capital Impact Partners, Prosperity Now, and the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. The Community Loan Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution in New Hampshire, leveraged its experience with 90 resident-owned communities at the time to launch ROC USA with national partners in May 2008. ROC USA and its affiliates have helped 312 communities preserve nearly 22,000 homes in 21 states.
About KeyBank Foundation
KeyBank Foundation serves to fulfill KeyBank’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive, and its mission is to support organizations and programs that prepare people for thriving futures. The Foundation’s mission is advanced through three funding priorities – neighbors, education, and workforce – and through community service. To provide meaningful philanthropy that transforms lives, KeyBank Foundation listens carefully to understand the unique characteristics and needs of its communities and then backs solutions with targeted philanthropic investments. KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation, funded by KeyCorp.
KeyCorp's roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $188 billion at September 30, 2023. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $176.2 billion at March 31, 2021. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,100 branches and more than 1,400 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
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